Thursday, October 31, 2013

Too Much

I know that my days are too busy. I have way too much crammed into each hour... but I'm not sure how to fix that problem... or if it can be fixed.

There are too many people needing too many things from me too many hours of each and every day.

And there's kind of a huge price for getting to get out of town last week... so many things that need to be caught up on.

Yesterday I woke up at 6:00 am to pack the Angsty Teen's lunch and drive her to school... and she had a debilitating headache. After much deliberation I finally ended up sending her back to bed for an hour.

Thought I might try to get a little extra rest... but, after I laid down and started to relax I received a text from the Angsty Teen... who was upstairs resting... wanting me to email her band director that she wouldn't be there for the brassline practice before school.

I was wide awake at this point...

What else did I do that morning?

I finally got the Angsty Teen to school.

I called the Ford dealer in town about a leaky tire on my parents' car and set up a time to drop it off.

I called the oral surgeon's office to make an appointment for the Angsty Teen 's consultation appointment for her wisdom teeth extraction. Set up that appointment and one for the actual procedure.

I called the dental office where we go and set up two appointments for my mom to have a crown prepped and seated.

Phone calls like these just eat up so much time.

I took my parents' car into the shop and lined up a ride back to their place where my car was.

I took my mom to a doctor's appointment... and it took roughly two hours.

And, this was all by 11:00 am.

No wonder I'm exhausted. No wonder I'm overwhelmed. No wonder I haven't had time to blog.

Maybe next week will be better....


Friday, October 25, 2013

High Five for Friday

Yep, back to the real world. Left the hotel in California at 5:30 am yesterday... drove into my garage in Minnesota about 9:30 pm. It was kind of a long day.

But here are five of  the highlights from my trip (not a lot of pics... "bump" isn't working for me):

1. I was able to spend time with my girls.

2. I was able to spend a little time by myself.

3. Jeopardy! was a fun adventure!

4. I stayed in nice hotels for EIGHT nights.... I love hotels!
5. We had safe trips out there and back home... 
and I didn't have any accidents driving my rental cars in LA traffic! It was more than a little crazy.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Life is Good

My wonderfully, long break from my life is nearing an end.
Kati has been dropped off at LAX and I don't return my rental car for about 2 1/2 hours. So... I'm sitting in a Starbucks... in a comfy chair... listening to some fun music... nibbling on a bagel... sipping a dark roast coffee with a shot of espresso coffee.

(Go big or go home, is my motto when it comes to coffee.)

This is not my normal life. In fact, this in no way, shape, or form resembles anything about my life.

No one here needs anything from me.

No one wants me to pick up groceries.

There are no meds to pick up.

There are no dirty clothes to wash.

I haven't made any meals for over a week.

And... drum roll please... I haven't wiped any butts. 

I've only been responsible for my own stuff for the most part.

All I have to do yet this morning is fill the rental car with gas, return the car, take the shuttle to the airport, and make my flight. And, I have plenty of time.

This has felt like a true vacation.

The Angsty Teen and I only did a few things in our three days here. We had a nice amount of down time.

I didn't have a lot of extra stuff planned while Kati was out here. We spent most of or time at the studio where Jeopardy! is taped or driving to and from the hotel to the studio.

Oh, and Kati and I spent a little time in the evenings eating great Mexican food... and sipping (haha... they went down way faster than "sipping" implies) margaritas.

It's been a nice break from my real life. I hate to think of jumping right back in with both feet tonight... and especially tomorrow morning...

Too bad I can't ease back into my duties... (decompression chamber, anyone?)

Oh, well... at least for now?

Life is good.

I will have to remember what this feels like.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Fun in the Sun

The Angsty Teen and I made it safely to Los Angeles last week.  And, Friday was nearly over before I realized it was Friday and that I hadn't blogged!

Here's what I would say have been the top five things we did while the Angsty Teen was in LA with me:

1. Venice Beach
It was a gorgeous day when we were there. When I was in that area the next day it was foggy & chilly.
The Angsty Teen was finally convinced to take her shoes off... "I'm just not a beach girl." Well, trust me... the sand you've been on in our town is nothing like this.
Don't you love her white feet from marching band?
2. UCLA Philharmonia
This is what the Angsty Teen chose to do. She's pretty classy.
3. Hollywood Walk of Fame
In case you can't read this... it's John Stamos' star. No, he wasn't on my flight eating yogurt, so that's unfortunate.

4. A little bit of shopping...
This was the view from the shopping mall on Hollywood Blvd.

5. A lot of hot tubbing!
The hotel's website never mentioned a hot tub!!!!
The Angsty Teen and I had a pretty great time in the Los Angeles area. The time went quickly and on Saturday morning I got her to the airport and checked in for her flight home.

She didn't think she should miss school/band this week... which I understand. Soon Kati will fly in for her big Jeopardy! adventure.

And. I'm. still. here. Woohoo!

Wednesday, October 16, 2013


Been so busy... Lots going on,
Haven't posted all week long.

Caretaking parents, teen, and dog,
There's been no time to write this blog.

Worked hard to get the house cleaned up,
I even spent time with that damn naughty pup.

Filled the garbage... Purged and chucked,
The stuff you wanted? You're out of luck.

The Stern German left the state to hunt,
There is no one here to scratch and grunt.

A good friend visited for a night or two,
There was fun to be had & lots to do.

Then I packed up clothes and grabbed some money,
We're heading off to someplace sunny!

The Angsty Teen is my traveling buddy,
She's definitely not a fuddy duddy.

If she gets lots of snacks... We'll both be lucky.
Because then this trip will be fun....and not sucky.

Friday, October 11, 2013

High Five for Friday

It has been a busy, busy week...  Here are my highlights:

1. My empty box o' wine has been replaced... and my day was better yesterday.
Coincidence? I think not.
I have some very wise blogger friends who suggested I put my feet up with a glass of wine a little more often... but the box had been empty for awhile... Problem solved.

2. The Stern German is going on a hunting trip soon! 
Probably not a moment too soon, either...
3. I spent a quite a bit of time with The Grand Boys this week.
This was a fun project. Boys, hammers, nails, string...
4. Yesterday... I didn't have to use The Kit at all!
I mean I changed a few diapers... but that is so not the same thing.
Got to remember to buy another box of 100 gloves... soon.
5. Tomorrow is the final marching band competition of the year. 
Last weekend they performed the best they had all season.
The weekends have been so busy... It will be nice to, hopefully, have a little more time.

Hope you have a good weekend!

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Long, Long Days

I haven't written a blog post since last Friday. I had a great time with my girls over the weekend. Kati and I watched the Angsty Teen's marching band and the three of us spent the night together in Sioux Falls... but now, the night away doesn't even seen like it happened.
Sioux Falls, baby!
As of today... it's been three years since we moved my parents to the town where we live.

It has been a long three years in many ways.

Well, I guess the days are long... but the years are short. Yeah... the days are unbearably long sometimes.

In the past three years lots of thing have changed in our family...
  • Kati graduated from college and found a great job.
  • The Angsty Teen went through junior high and is in her second year of high school.
  • The Stern German has mellowed out a little bit more. 
This week I've been feeling completely exhausted and overwhelmed. I've been hating my life just a little more each day...

I know I need to be more purposeful about taking time for me... but... that's easier to do when no one is home... and by the time I get home from being with my parents, sometimes there's only 30 minutes until the Stern German gets home from work... and then 20 minutes after that I have to head out to get the Angsty Teen from school.

And then everyone is home... and there's always so much work to do in my own home.

Between doctor's appointments, grocery runs, physical therapy appointments, banking, etc... I'm feeling kind of swamped.

Oh, and I have to buy my mother's pee pads at Walmart.
I'm not a fan of going through the checkout with those... or walking around with them in my cart... and it always helps if the Angsty Teen is with me and she shouts out some comment about if those are the right pads for me...

Things will get better again... they always do. It is good that they live here... I think it would be even more difficult if they didn't... yeah, we'll go with that...

Thursday, October 3, 2013

High Five for Friday

Oh, yes.... it's Friday. I don't know if that's good or bad. I'm kind of weary. The week has felt long... but not really for any particular reason... just lots of stuff going on... nothing bad... just stuff.

So what are the highlights of my week? Hmmm... I really don't know. I'll think about it...

I.... well... I... hmmmm... these aren't exactly highlights... but...

1. I still haven't figured out what I'm going to do about going to SF (Sioux Falls, not San Francisco, unfortunately) early... and I'd need to pack and leave today if I'm going early.

2. I'm tired/weary beyond belief.

3. I took a friend out for dinner and she threw up... partially on me... and all over the bathroom. (Let's hear it for hand wipes and Clorox wipes!)

4. I washed dishes/pots/pans all day/every day this week... well that's what it feels like... and my kitchen is still a disaster.

5. I ran out of raspberry vodka.

'nuf said. Dang.

One Hundred and Thirty Dollars

Dang. That's kind of a lot of money.


I mean, it's not... in the scheme of life... but it is... in the realm of my everyday life.

Do I spend it? It would make my life so much better... but only for less than 24 hours.

Well, having written that out... I'm thinking... no.

Here's the deal... a few days ago I wrote about the exciting travel opportunity that awaits me later this week in.... wait for it............. Sioux Falls.

I mean, really, who wouldn't want to go to there? Okay, if we're being honest... me. I don't want to go to there. Except... that the Angsty Teen's marching band is performing there this weekend in competition.

Yep. Parade at 8:45 IN THE MORNING. THEN... a break until we perform at 3:15 in the field show competition.

Oh, yeah... that's not all... the top ten bands from the afternoon competition get to/have to perform/compete in the evening competition.

I will go to the parade... oh, wait... in case you forgot what the weather is going to be like... let me refresh your memory..
Well... actually... now? The weather is supposed to be MUCH nicer...

Oh, hey... that's actually improved one more degree since I last checked! AND the chance of rain that had been 60% and had jumped to 70% as of this morning? Woohoo! That's down to a 50% chance!!! AND the wind??? Well, never mind. That's a little worse than what I saw on the forecast a few days ago... except, really? It was up to 27 mph as of this morning... so I guess it's improving.

My thoughts were that it would be great to head to Sioux Falls on Friday. The Stern German could get the Angsty Teen out the door to the buses at 4:00 AM on Saturday...

I could get a decent room on Priceline for probably $55.

I would get a good night's sleep... and be there bright and early for that wondrous parade.

Then I had a fantastically, amazing idea. Why not book a room where I am already staying on Saturday night with Kati and the Angsty Teen?

I mean... I wouldn't have to check out of the cheaper rate hotel at 11 am... and wait to check into the Saturday hotel until 3:00...

What? I just checked the website for that hotel... Check-in time is at 4:00 PM??

I would have a place to go when the rainy, cold, miserable parade ended at 10:30... and I could stay there until the field show competition started... at.. well, it starts earlier, but we don't perform until 3:15.

So... is it worth it to spend $130 for this? Or, is it worth it t spend $65 more than I was possibly willing to spend to go to Sioux Falls on Friday night?

Who knows? Definitely... not me. I know if I didn't go... it would save money...  but does that saved money actually stay in any account???? Hmmmm.... what to do, what to do.

Any advice for me?

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Forging Ahead

My parents wanted to pull some money out of an annuity which was in my dad's name. The diabetic, geriatric, bariatric blind guy has a tough time signing his name... but it can be done.
Because of my dad's blindness my mom requested all of the paperwork, made sure it was completed and signed, and submitted it.

When the envelope came which should have held the check my parents were waiting for... it contained a letter instead.

The company stated that since my dad's signature looked so different on the withdrawal papers from his original signature 35 years ago that they were not sending the money at this time. The company said that my dad would have to sign the paperwork again and get his signature notarized.
My mom was not pleased... her angry, indignant rant went something like this:

We need that money. It was supposed to have been here by now.

Why would they not think that was his signature?

Do they expect a blind 83 year old who had a stroke to be able to sign his name like he could when he was 50? 

What are they thinking? I'm so angry with this company. 

Now you're going to have to take him to get this done.

Dad needs to get his signature notarized. 

You don't need one more thing to do.

How will you do that? Where will you go?

This is making more work for you... more work all because they don't think that's his signature!

She went on... and on... and on.

To which I responded:

  • The money will get here.
  • It's okay... you don't have any major expenses right now.
  • I'm sorry it didn't get here.
  • I'm surprised they had an issue with his signature.
  • It's okay... we'll get it taken care of...
  • We'll find a place to get his signature notarized... Maybe over at the nursing home office someone is a notary. Or, we could just go to the bank and have it done.

I told my mom that I was really surprised that this company didn't think it was my dad's signature when it was.

I mean... yes...  his signature looks a lot different than it used to, but it still has the same characteristics of how he makes his letters and crosses his "t".

My mother looked at me and said, "Well, I guess they didn't think it was his signature... because I signed his name... but I did a really good job of copying his handwriting."

Yeah, well.... apparently, you didn't.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Sue Fell

Wait... make that Sioux Falls... Oh, yeah... that's it.
This is the show from this year... For those of you who like band...

I have to get to go to Sioux Falls for marching band this weekend. (Not my favorite city... I'm sure there are some nice areas... I've never seen them.)

Last year Kati drove up from Omaha to meet me for the event. Kati and I were able to spend the day together and I got a hotel room and the three of us (insert Angsty Teen into the mix) got to spend some time together. A fine time was had by all.

It was a little chilly over there during the day... and a lot chilly in the evening. (The evening competition goes until about 11 pm.)

I checked the weather yesterday and was pleased to see that it was going to be about 65 and dry all day on Saturday... and about 55 in the evening.

Then last night I checked the weather again:
A high temp of 43 degrees? 60% chance of rain? 34 degrees at night?!? Dang, Dang, Dang.

I don't have the right gear for this. In the last year the outer shell to my Columbia coat has disappeared...  but I do have some attractive, disposable rain ponchos... and the Stern German has some not-so-attractive warm hunting apparel... so I'm sure I'll figure something out. I definitely won't be winning any fashion awards.

Although maybe in South Dakota I'll look trendy... people hunt there, right?

It still sounds awful...

I'm probably gonna need a bigger flask if I really want to stay warm.